The House Social Services Budget Committee’s report on SRS and KDOA budgets stated “…there is considerable fraud and abuse in the system of Home and Community Based Services.” It goes on to state that this fraud, by Centers for Independent Living, is responsible for the Waiting Lists.

These statements seek to villify the Centers and the people who are working so hard for the disability community in Kansas. WE are the ones forced to tell people that although they are eligible for services there is an over-3-year-long waiting list. WE work with Kansans with disabilities on a daily basis struggling to change the misconceptions, provide education to the Legislature, and advocate for needed services to save the lives of Kansans.

SRS’ own testimony, audits, and cost studies show that Centers for Independent Living are good stewards of state money, there is not “considerable fraud and abuse”. It is time that we push back against an Administration and some members of this Legislature who continue to ignore facts and data and deny their own responsibility for the tragic situations that Kansans with disabilities are forced into now.

We are a Center for Independent Living, we are Kansans with disabilities, we are advocates, WE ARE NOT FRAUD!

It is imperative that the disability community contacts each member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. A complete list of names and contact information is available here.

They will begin debating the budget in sub-committees on March 8th. As they are working on budget issues we need to make sure they know the importance of funding the Home and Community Based services Physically Disabled waiting list and to restore the Financial Management Services(FMS) rate back to $140.

Shannon Jones assembled the following handouts to use in making your contacts with the Legislators.

Some of the talking points for funding the waiting list are:

  • As of February 1, 2012 there are 3,433 persons waiting for HCBS/PD services.
  • 30 persons died while waiting during the month of Jan. 2012
  • 10 persons entered a nursing facility during the month of Jan. 2012.
  • The last person offered PD Services had been waiting for 3 years!
  • Since 2010, 1,200 persons have come off of the PD Waiver, yet no one is coming off the waiting list.
  • Approximately $33 million (State funds) would fund HCBS waiver services for those waiting.

Some of the talking points for increasing the FMS rate are:

  • Last fall, Providers were notified of the $115 reduced rate with no justification and no opportunity for discussion.
  • Providers are asking for a fair rate for services delivered.
  • CILs anticipate additional layoffs associated with the FMS, which will amount to roughly a 25% reduction in agency staffing, the majority of which are people with disabilities.

Once you have made contact with each Legislator on the House Social Services Budget Committee, please email me any responses that you receive so we can track and amend our message as needed.